March - April 1998
Vol. 9, No. 2

Linda Mojer

FROM THE EDITOR: Plate-Spinning 101!
by Linda Mojer

I’m getting dizzy. Plates are spinning on sticks all over the place, things are changing faster than I can follow, and much of the time it’s my own doing! In the past two issues of RACQUETBALL, you may have noticed a marked increase in the amount of color photography and graphics used throughout the publication. There’s no question around the national office that we’re committed to making this publication equal to its counterparts like “Tennis” and “Golf.” Martha would agree that “it’s a good thing ...”

It’s also a tricky thing ... and, even though I enjoy the challenge of making each edition as attractive as possible, one of my most important “other” duties is to keep an eye on costs in order to balance our income against expenses each and every time we go to press. When ads are down, we restrain ourselves, concentrate on great content and reduce our costs by being more judicious in the use of color. Then, when ad placements are high, we put those resources directly back into bolder, brighter layouts, professional photography, freelance assignments – or even extra pages!

Over the years, we’ve settled on a standard of quality that just won’t be compromised – if I can help it (does “stubborn” ring a bell for anyone? ...). We’ve never missed or combined an issue. We established a manageable size, and haven’t dropped below 64 pages since. We make excellent use of our “reach” to inform the USRA membership of important goings-on (like the board election, the first printing of a national singles entry form in the magazine, an expiration policy clarification, and an announcement on the new Junior Team qualification procedures). At the same time, we make excellent use of our ability to entertain by giving our readership a view of the entire sport, from lots of different angles (like talking with John Ellis, taking a global viewpoint, and bringing everyone up to date with industry news). With a growing subscriber base, it’s crucial that we remain aware of that fine line between membership and readership – and commit to balancing just one more spinning plate in the air.

So what am I saying? Simply that the publication you hold in your hands is a big deal. And it’s becoming part of an even bigger deal with every passing year, as it evolves into the most tangible and highly visible symbol of the sport. When someone can pick up an issue – miles from the nearest court – and still get a feel for all the excitement inherent in racquetball, I will happily consider myself the best plate-spinner on the planet! But I’m pretty sure I’ll still be dizzy ...

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